High School Musical’s leading actors

Rehearsals are well underway for Pool Academy’s production of High School Musical due to be staged next month.

The well-known show’s story is set in an American High School where the children have to audition for its musical.

Cameron Friggens, in Year 8, and Amara-Leigh Hull, Year 11, are taking on the lead roles and say they are looking forward to opening night.


Troy Bolton

Cameron Friggens

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“I am excited about being in one of the lead roles for the show. I can’t wait to take part in the performances although I am a little nervous too.

“I have enjoyed drama and performing since I was in primary school. I seem to be getting bigger roles to play each year. Hopefully it carries on.

“I take part in drama at school and it is something I would like to carry on in the future.

“Taking part in the rehearsals is a bit more work but you get used to it. It is challenging but becomes easier once you have remembered the lines and are more confident.

“I love it on stage so much and I am not scared. The first night is a bit harder but then you get into it.

“I love it and I really enjoy performing for the primary schools. “

Cameron enjoys playing cricket and had a role in last year’s school production of School of Rock.



Gabriella Montez

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Amara-Leigh Hull

“I’ve been in plays every year since I started attending Pool Academy. This is one of the most fun ones I have been involved with because I am one of the lead characters. I have never been the lead before so I am really excited.

“I love High School Musical.

“I have put so much hard work and dedication into the role.  I have listened to all the songs and learned them all.

“When I do things I always fully throw myself into it.

“I have been inviting everyone to come and watch.

“Outside of school I take part in a drama group in Hayle every Thursday. Currently my Thursdays are very busy. I go from rehearsals at school to my music group and then on to my drama group and I don’t get home until 11pm.

“I make lots of singing videos and post them online and I also go to auditions. I am hoping to go up to The Voice audition later this year.

“After we finish High School Musical I am going to focus on my GCSEs.”

Amara-Leigh has a passion for music and has taught herself how to play the keyboards and the guitar.


Hundreds of pounds donated to charity

Hundreds of pounds have been donated to charity after students held a non-uniform day at Pool Academy.

The event took place on the last day of term before the Christmas break and more than £400 was raised.

Students choosing to leave their uniforms at home and instead wear something less formal donated £1 to the St Petroc’s Society.

The homeless charity works to end street homelessness in Cornwall and provide accommodation, support, advice, training and more.

Nick Hamblin, from Pool Academy, said: “We are delighted to be able support the great work that St Petroc's do in our community.

“At Pool Academy we are always looking for ways to promote good citizenship activities amongst our students and this is an ideal way for them all to make a contribution which will help others.”

Claire Meakin, Pool Academy Principal, said: “It was wonderful that we could both celebrate the end of term and help raise money for charity by holding a non-uniform day.

“I was so pleased to hear how much we managed to raise for such an important cause.”

Students plant Dog Roses

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Students were handed spades and forks to help plant Dog Roses in the school grounds ready for spring blooms.

The group gathered round a piece of earth near Pool School Art Gallery to take part in some more planting.

The school was given more than 100 saplings last term from The Woodland Trust to help spruce up its beautiful grounds. Some of these have already been put in the earth at the bottom of the gallery’s garden.

Chris Harper, groundsman at Pool Academy, said the students really enjoyed getting involved with the gardening.

He added: “I marked out the area with bamboo sticks for the students to put in the Dog Roses.

“They are going to grow and grow and look really nice because Dog Roses are climbers.”

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The Trust delivered its schools’ tree pack, which includes Hawthorne, Hazel, Elder, Downy Birch, Dog Rose and Dog wood, to the academy before the Christmas holidays.

The Woodland Trust offer a number of different schools’ tree packs including Hedges, Year-round colour, Copse and Wild harvest.

The academy had to apply for the greenery and when the application was accepted it was also awarded two Green Tree Schools Award points.

Students start outdoor learning course

A group of students have pulled on their wellies to take part in the first session of their outdoor learning course.

They braved the fresh January air to take part in a scavenger hunt in the school’s gardens. Some of the students had not been to this part of the school before as it is reserved for allotment growing and other nature learning activities.

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Kate Francis, who is leading the eight-week course, said they will soon be planting and growing in the area once they familiarise themselves with the surroundings.

She said the scavenger hunt was an ideal way for students to learn where everything was. They spent the lesson searching for a number of items including a leaf, some seeds, a rock and something with a hole in it.

Ms Francis said: “Taking part in a scavenger hunt was a nice way for the students to get to know the outside area. Some of the students involved haven’t been in the school gardens before.”

Ms Francis is expecting a batch of fruit tree saplings to be delivered early next month for the students to help plant in the gardens.

“It will be nice to get the delivery as February is the right time for planting fruit trees,” she said.

The students will also be planting more trees around the school grounds to help enhance the already beautiful outdoor areas later this week.

Live music to be introduced to rehearsals

Live music will soon be added to rehearsals of the school’s up-coming performance of High School Musical.

Cameron Friggens who is set to play in one of the lead roles as Troy Bolton. 

Cameron Friggens who is set to play in one of the lead roles as Troy Bolton. 

Students have been learning their lines and practising hard after school to make sure their next production will be highly polished.

They are now ready for the school musicians to join them for the song and dance numbers.

Emily Cromey, Head of Faculty for Art, Music, Drama and PE, said the students are all working hard and are looking forward to performing the show next month.

 “We are really excited about our upcoming production of High School Musical,” she said. “Rehearsals are well under way and we are now very excited to be able to invite the band to take part in the after school rehearsals too.

“The momentum is going well.”

The show’s story is set in an American High School where the children have to audition for its musical. The production was first seen as a Disney Movie in 2006. It was such a hit that it was Disney Channel's most watched film and was reported to have more than seven million viewers in the first year.

Mrs Cromey said: “This is shaping up to be a really special show. It will be our best one yet.”

Students play basketball with GB athlete


Silver medallist and GB athlete Stef Collins put Pool Academy students through their paces when she visited recently.

The silver medal commonwealth games Basketball player was invited to work with Year 7 students as part of the Inspired through Sport initiative.

The sportswoman gave a presentation during morning assembly with the message to ‘never give up’. She then took part in a questions and answer session before holding some practical workshops in the sports hall.

Students were keen to see her silver medal which she had brought to the school with her.

Stef said: “I really enjoyed delivering a presentation on basketball and having the opportunity to deliver fun basketball skills and drills.

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“It was great to work with this age group and hopefully they will have a passion for the game.”

Tom Ford, PE teacher, said: “She was very good with the students. They all enjoyed having her visit Pool Academy and loved taking part in the workshops.”

During the Q&A session students asked how she trained, where she was based and what kind of injuries she had gotten during her career as a sportswoman.

They learnt over the years she had never broken a bone but had injuries including a sprained ankle, a stress fracture and had knee surgery but ‘got my way back to top fitness’ after each injury.

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Inspired by Sport is a supporter of British Athletes in the UK.

Visit www.inspiredthroughsport.co.uk for more information.


Students invited to explore art in St Ives

Students at Pool Academy are being invited to take part in art sessions at a studio in St Ives.

St Ives School of Painting is running its Young Artists programme again this year and the next workshop is due to take place on January 20th.

The sessions are for people aged between 13 years and 18 years old and run from 1pm until 4pm.

Cat lee, Young Artists Coordinator, said: “This term we are paying a life model so the young people can do some figure drawing.

“The sessions will be tutored by a range of professional artists.

“The students will learn how to draw a clothed model and represent the figure using a variety of art materials and techniques.

“Each artist brings their own style and unique way of working, from environmental, to textiles and fashion.

“We are excited about this offer as the teens don’t get a chance to do this in school or even at art college anymore”

People living in Cornwall will pay a membership price of £10

Cat said there are a few scholarship places available for the workshops.

For more information contact Cat via email on cat@schoolofpainting.co.uk 


Successful achievement shop needs more prizes

A student awards shop has been doing so well that teachers are now calling out for more prize donations.

Jamie Best, Pool Academy teacher, created an Achievement Points shop with an array of rewards including books, footballs, gift cards and stationary for those scoring highly each term.

The shop offers a variety of different gifts which can be ‘bought’ by students using their achievement points.  The more expensive the prize the more points a student will have to earn.

The scheme has been doing so well that Mr Best is now putting a call out to the community and nearby businesses to help donate more prizes.

He said: “If there is anyone able to support us by donating anything to the shop that would be really appreciated. Donations could be anything from sports equipment and stationary to even a voucher for a free haircut at a salon.”

Anyone willing to help out are urged to email Mr Best on jb2@poolacademy.co.uk

Plans for Cadet Force at Pool Academy are flourishing

 Plans for a Cadet Force at Pool Academy are flourishing as organisers announce links with a nearby regiment.

In November last year the school was given permission by the Ministry of Defence and the Department of Education to set up a MOD sponsored Army Section Detachment of the Combined Cadet Force.

Now Simon Ferguson, Pastoral Support, is working hard behind the scenes to get it up and running. He recently announced he has made links with the 165 Port and Maritime Regiment which has a Squadron based in Bodmin. This will make Pool CCF one of only a few Royal Logistics Corps 'badged' Cadet units. 

He has also signed the Armed Forces Covenant pledge this month on behalf of Pool Academy.  Signing the pledge demonstrates the support of the Academy for the Armed Forces Community.

Mr Ferguson said: “It is exciting to have been able to make these steps forward in setting up the Cadet Force at Pool Academy.

“Signing the covenant pledge shows we are serious about showing our support for serving members of the Armed Forces, Veterans and their families. The school staff has members who have served their country, as well as former pupils and parents and it is fitting that we make this public declaration of the value that the school places on Armed Forces community. This is underpinned by the work we will be doing with the CCF and the close links we are forging with 165 Port and Maritime Regiment.”

Training for adult instructors will start this month and April with a view to the Detachment officially opening in September 2019.

The cadet force at Pool Academy will be for students aged between 12 and 18 years old and will provide challenging activities in a safe environment using the values and standards of the Armed forces.

Pool Academy will soon appear along with others signed up to the covenant on line https://www.armedforcescovenant.gov.uk/get-involved/who-has-signed-the-covenant/

Students for Yearbook committee

Year 11 students are being urged to join a Yearbook committee to help create a publication full of school day memories for when they leave school.

Pool Academy teacher Jamie Best is looking for people to help plan and design the book which will be handed out at the end of the summer term.

The first meeting has been planned for this month to start collating ideas.

Mr Best said: “It is exciting to be creating a yearbook this year. We are looking for a team of willing Year 11 members to help commemorate their time at Pool Academy. We are also looking students to contribute old photographs, great quotes and other things we could put in the year book.

“We will be looking at the old year books to get inspiration.

“Once the Yearbooks have been created they will be part of the leavers package which also includes a hoodie.

“I am very excited to be part of creating a yearbook and can’t wait to see the final publication.”

Head of Year 11 Jodie Phillips said: “The Yearbook committee will be meeting this month. Please make sure your child has emailed me if they are interested in being a part of documenting their wonderful memories at Pool Academy.”

More than 100 items donated to foodbank

More than 100 items have been handed to the local foodbank thanks to generous donators who brought items to Pool Academy before Christmas.

Teacher Kirstie Conway-Baker and her Year 9 tutor group decided to create a CPR Foodbank collection point in the school reception at the end of last term.

On Friday, December 21, the collection was taken to the CPR headquarters in Camborne.


It was the second year a collection point was set up at the school to help others during the Christmas season.

Miss Conway-Baker said: “A huge thank you to all students, staff and members of the community who supported the food bank collections this year.

“I dropped off more than 100 items to CPR foodbank - everything from tins to toothpaste to Christmas puddings.

“They were very happy to receive the donations at such a busy time of year. 

 “I think it is really important to give everyone a chance to have a happy Christmas.

“It was a small gesture to a very worthy cause.”

Foodbank workers like to provide a package to those in need that will help provide three days’ worth of nutritionally balanced meals.

They welcome donations all year round and items often asked for include pasta, lentils, beans, pulses, tinned meat, tins of soup and tinned vegetables.

GB athlete to visit Pool Academy


A GB athlete is due to visit Pool Academy on Friday to take part in a sponsored activity with a group of students.

Members of Year 7 will be taking part in an Inspired Through Sport event at the end of the week to help raise cash for athletes who can’t afford to reach their full potential.

Over the Christmas break students asked as many people as possible to sponsor them to take part in a fitness morning with the sportsperson - yet to be revealed.

Prizes are on offer for those who achieve high totals and there is still time for them to add to their sponsorship form before the event.

On Friday there will also be an assembly, question and answer sessions and workshops with the athlete.

Tom Ford, PE teacher at Pool Academy, said: “We are hoping the students will help to raise a lot of money and are able to get involved with the great cause.

“There will be prizes on offer for those collecting sponsorship.  The prizes will be for students who have raised over a certain amount of money.”

“I am excited for the activities on Friday as I think it will be a lot of fun.”

Inspired by Sport is a supporter of British Athletes in the UK. Visit www.inspiredthroughsport.co.uk for more information.

Students encouraged to join after school revision clubs

Year 11 students are being encouraged to take part in after school revision sessions to boost their studies.

Clubs will be held every day from 3pm-5pm with the aim to create specific sessions for every subject once a week.

Jodie Philips, Head of Year 11, said: “We ask parents and carers to continue the wonderful encouragement of their child to keep attending these which will continue until exams and coursework deadlines.”

The school is also starting its ‘Keys4Life’ project this term for a select number of Year 11 students.  The project will run for an hour a week for six weeks exploring topics including health, sleep, anxiety and stress.

Mrs Phillips said: “This project really is a fantastic opportunity for students to focus on their health, happiness and well-being leading up to their exams.”

Other plans in the pipeline include holding breakfast revision sessions.

A number of Year 11s have also been given a mentor as a first point of contact for support. They will check in on the students as often as needed and can offer extra support.

Mrs Philips explained: “Their role is to be someone who will just listen to our students and help to reassure and solve any worries or concerns.

“If your child has not been designated a member of staff and would like one, please email me and I will sort someone to support them in the New Year.”

 Revision guides are also available for students to purchase.

Students awarded for loneliness project

A community group has handed Pool Academy’s Head Boy and Head Girl an award for their work to help try and end loneliness in 2018.


Peter Cale from the Camborne, Redruth and District Lions Club invited Holly and Matthew to their meeting in December to present them with a Youth Achievement Award.

The club members were so impressed with the students’ work to help others in the community that they wanted to recognise them.

The pair went along to their evening meeting and spoke to members about the work they’ve done and their future plans before being given a certificate.

Mr Cale said: “The award presentation went very, very well. Matthew and Holly's joint address was warmly received and certainly made an impression on our members. There was an outbreak of applause which is something I have not witnessed before.”

Holly said: “The meeting went well and we spoke to them about our project. We were grateful for being invited.”

Matthew said: “We would like to say thank you for thinking of us and presenting us with the award.

“Our parents were really proud of us for being given the certificate.”

Claire Meakin, Principal of Pool Academy, said: “It was absolutely wonderful to hear that our Head Boy and Head Girl were recognised in this way. I am incredibly proud of them and all they have done as part of their loneliness project.”

Students travel to London for History trip

A group of students travelled to London this term for a History trip to learn about Jack the Ripper and the Holocaust.

The group of Year 11s visited the capital city for two days as part of the Crime and Punishment section of their GCSE History.

The first activity during the trip was to take part in a workshop at the National Archives where they were able to view some of the original documents from the Jack the Ripper case.

They then visited Whitechapel where they were given a night time tour and told about the problems there were policing the area during the time of the Ripper case.

The next day students went to the Imperial War Museum to view the Holocaust exhibition as well as the other exhibitions on display there that day.

After having lunch at Covent Gardens they had a bit of time shopping before returning back to Cornwall.

Mark Turner, History teacher at Pool Academy, said: “The students really enjoyed their time in London and learnt a lot. The trip helped to cover the topics they need to know for the Crime and Punishment section of their History GCSE. Seeing the documents at the National Archives was a real experience and they found it really interesting walking around Whitechapel.”

Keys4life initiative starts January

A new initiative will be launched in January to help support Year 11s as they prepare for exam season.

Keys4life is a programme that will run over six weeks at Pool Academy. A group of students have been selected to take part in the hour-long sessions every Tuesday.

The project will look at four areas of health; nutrition, movement, sleep and stress management.

It is hoped students will benefit from the workshops to help prepare them for their GCSE exams later in the year.

Jodie Phillips, Head of Year 11, said: “The project will work with many members of the year group throughout the year and we are very excited to invite this new level of support to boost and prepare our students at Pool Academy.

“This really is a great opportunity for students to focus on their health, happiness and well being leading up to their exams.”

Claire Meakin, Pool Academy Principal, said: “Our students work incredibly hard and I am proud of our teachers doing their best to support this. Keys4Life is just another way they are helping our Year 11s achieve their very best.”

Students take part in relationship workshop

A group of students were invited to take part in a workshop about relationships and the internet.

Tracey Nicholson and Tracy Pinsent, Healthy Relationship Facilitators from the charity Clear, visited Pool Academy again this week.

This time they were tackling the issues of pornography, body image, relationships and self-esteem.

Tracey told the group that in an age of the internet, blogging, social media and reality television she knew it must be hard for students. She said these things could have a ‘massive impact’ on relationships, confidence and self-esteem.

The students were encouraged to sit in groups and express their thoughts on the topics which had a potential to create a ‘negative impact’ on relationships.

The two women from Clear had visited the school earlier in the term to talk to groups of Year 7s on the topics of keeping safe online, communication, online settings, bullying, weirdos online and sexting.

They told students they had to respect themselves so they would know how to respect others and how others should respect them. They also spoke about confidentiality.

New books for school library

Pool Academy’s librarian has bought scores of new books for the library after a successful sale earlier this term.

Sandra Hampton hosted a Scholastic Book Fair, offering half-price books, for students and staff. The event helped to raise more than £200 which meant she was able to purchase £25 worth of new books.

Mrs Hampton said she was pleased to be able to add new titles including books by the well-known author Jacqueline Wilson. She has also been finding new fictions from other sources for the library shelves too.

She hopes they will all be available for students to read in the new year.

She said: “I would like to say a big thank you to everybody who came and bought a book during the sale. It has helped benefit the students because there will soon be some lovely new books in library.

“I look forward to seeing what books will be available in the sale when we hold it again next year.

“I have also been working behind the scenes to find more popular titles for the library and we have around 40 extra books waiting to go on the shelves. These include titles from the Goosebumps series, the Wimpy Kid series and Harry Potter.”

There were three large containers full of books in the library during the week-long fair. Students were excited to see books including The Updated Official Overwatch World Guide and John Green’s Turtles All the Way Down.

The sale, which also included stationary and posters, took place over break and lunch times and a group of Year 7s also helped out.

Students praised for BMX efforts

Pool Academy students were praised for their efforts after taking part in a BMX tester sessions.

They visited Cornwall BMX Racing Club earlier this month to ride bikes on the track along with children from other schools.


The club runs school tester sessions with British Cycling for people in the area. This month was the second time a group from Pool Academy attended.

Rob Mills from the track at Blackwater, said the students all showed enthusiasm and gave ‘110 percent’.

He said: “Two of the group are really talented another two are good riders.

“The effort made was outstanding.

“These guys listened, paid attention and went on the track and improved. They all supported each other whatever their ability.

“Pool Academy students were among the best group of kids I’ve seen at the track this year.

“Every one of the seven students that attended had very differing abilities but each did an excellent job and gave 110 percent.

“The guys were great and deserve to be rewarded for their efforts.”

Claire Meakin, Pool Academy Principal, said: “It is so wonderful to hear such positive feedback about our students. I am incredibly proud of each and every one of our students and love to hear how well they do in all areas of their lives.”

The BMX racing track is the only one in the country run totally by volunteers.

Help unite festive cards with their owners

 Two cards have been found in the hallways of Pool Academy and staff are looking to find their rightful owners.

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The red envelopes were spied by staff member Jake Greygoose as he passed through the corridor outside DT4 by the lockers.

Now the hunt is on to find out who they belong to.

The cards have the names ‘Jemma’ and ‘Amelia’ written on them in gold lettering along with a gold heart.

If anyone knows who theses are for please let tutors know before everyone breaks up for Christmas.